Sefton Council has been granted over £300,000 in order to encourage cycling and walking across the borough, with the condition that the funding must be spent by the end of this year.
As part of a competitive bidding process coordinated through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA), Sefton has been awarded £310,859 of grant funding to develop Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure (LCWIP) network plans and designs and support infrastructure usage with behaviour change activities.
The local authority has also secured £100,000 of grant funding to develop a pilot for a Social prescribing bid for Sefton and St Helens.
The funding has come from the Department for Transport, Local Authority Capability Fund in support of ‘Gear Change’, the Government’s Cycling and Walking Plan.
The cash will support the development of infrastructure schemes and plans, such as Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.
It will also support access to new and existing employment, education and training, as well as actively promote increased levels of physical activity through walking and cycling.
In the report, Sefton Council Head of Highways and Public Protection Peter Moore said: “In August 2021 the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority submitted a bid for funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) for the Local Authority Capability Fund (LACF). The LACF replaces the Access Fund, previously offered to local authorities.
“It supports the commitment made in Gear Change, the Prime Minister’s Cycling and Walking Plan published in July 2020, to increase the capabilities of local authorities to plan good active travel infrastructure, including building more expertise and undertaking more evidence-based planning.
“In December 2021, the LCRCA were subsequently awarded £1,785,950.25 of revenue funding to develop Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure (LCWIP) network plans and designs and support infrastructure usage with behaviour change activities.
“In January 2022, the LCRCA approved a report granting £310,859 as Sefton Council’s share of the Local Authority Capability Fund.
“One of the conditions associated with the offer of the revenue money is that this will be expended by 31st December 2022.
“In addition to the Local Authority Capability Fund, the LCRCA was successful in securing a further £100,000 to consider the feasibility for a pilot scheme to expand social prescribing in South Sefton, focussing on Crosby and Bootle, and in Four Acres in St Helens.
“The project should integrate walking and cycling in social prescribing schemes and show connection to new active travel infrastructure.”